Semi-Finalists announced at Inagural Isabel Overton Bader Canadian Violin Competition

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January 26, 2017, Kingston ON …. The Isabel Bader Centre for the Performing Arts at Queen’s University announces the semi-finalists for the inaugural ISABEL OVERTON BADER CANADIAN VIOLIN COMPETITION. Eight semi-finalists have been chosen to perform at the Isabel Bader Centre for the Performing Arts on April 26 and 27, 2017. Subsequently, three finalists will be chosen for the concerto round (with piano) on April 29, 2017 at the Isabel Bader Centre for the Performing Arts (“the Isabel”) in Kingston, Ontario. The Isabel Overton Bader Canadian Violin Competition was made possible through the generosity of Alfred and Isabel Bader, whose vision, imagination and generosity will enable gifted emerging musicians to learn, inspire, perform, and develop their careers.

The eight semi-finalists are:  Eva Aronian, Yolanda Bruno, Ji Soo Choi, Ewald Cheung, Esther Hwang, Dasol Jeong, Catherine Poplyansky, and Lucy Wang.  Biographies of the semi-finalists is attached. The semi-finalists were chosen through an adjudication process with jury members comprising leading violinists across Canada.

This Competition invited violinists who are Canadian citizens and permanent residents of Canada (as defined by Citizenship and Immigration Canada), between the ages of eighteen (18) to twenty-nine (29) as of January 1, 2017. Violinists from St. John’s NF to Victoria BC applied.

The first-prize winner will be awarded The Marion Overton Dick Memorial Violin Prize for $20,000 (CAD), a future engagement to perform with the Kingston Symphony, and a future engagement to perform a recital at the Isabel Bader Centre for the Performing Arts to be recorded and broadcast nationally by CBC Radio 2. The second-prize winner will be awarded $4,000 (CAD). The third-prize winner will be awarded $2,000 (CAD).

The Semi-Finalist and Finalist performances are at the Isabel and open to the public. These concerts will be hosted by Ireneus Zuk, Associate Director of the Dan School of Drama and Music at Queen’s University who has also served as jury member and/or chair of numerous prestigious international competitions. Bader and Overton International Violin Festival pass holders will attend the Semi-Finalist and Finalist concerts at no charge, and there will be a $12 daily charge for all other attenders. In addition to the above awards, there will be an audience choice award for the final round of $1,000.

All semi-finalists will perform a new work Twitter Etudes No. 1 – a short virtuosic work for solo violin by Canadian composer John Burge. This work was commissioned by the Isabel Bader Centre for the Performing Arts for the inaugural Isabel Overton Bader Canadian Violin Competition.  The work consists of six short etudes each of which limits the number of notes in each movement to just 140 distinctive attacks.  All the etudes are given descriptive titles as follows: Octaves, Interrupted Scales, Broken Chords, Fughetto, G String Melody and Syncopated Accents.

“This competition was created to inspire excellence and to provide world-class Canadian violinists with a great professional development opportunity,” says Tricia Baldwin, Director of the Isabel Bader Centre for the Performing Arts. “We are passionate about championing the next generation of artists, and have established an ongoing relationship with the Banff International String Quartet Competition and the Honens International Piano Competition. Our next leap forward has been to establish our own competition here at Queen’s University to foster Canada’s top talent and to provide substantial and much needed support to extraordinarily gifted young Canadian violinists who aspire to a concert career.”

This Competition invited violinists who are Canadian citizens and permanent residents of Canada (as defined by Citizenship and Immigration Canada), between the ages of eighteen (18) to twenty-nine (29) as of January 1, 2017. The applications went live on September 1st at www.getacceptd.com/theisabel, and the application deadline was December 12, 2016 at 7 PM (EDT). For further information, please visit www.theisabel.ca/violin-competition.

The new, award-winning Isabel Bader Centre for the Performing Arts is a beautiful venue with exceptional acoustics. The Isabel presents internationally acclaimed artists on its presentation series, and the building supports Queen’s music, drama and film undergraduate educational programs. The Isabel Bader Centre for the Performing Arts recently collaborated with Queen’s  Dan School of Drama and Music to create two new graduate programs: the M.A. in Arts Leadership and the Graduate Diploma in Arts Management.

The Isabel is grateful to the distinguished jurors who are committed to supporting the next generation of outstanding talent. Preliminary, Semi-Finalist and Finalist round jury members include:

  • Martin Beaver—CA (soloist, Montrose Trio member, Co-director of the Chamber Music Program at The Colborne School in Los Angeles, California);
  • Jonathan Crow—ON (Toronto Symphony Orchestra concertmaster, soloist, New Orford Quartet member, TSO Chamber Soloists concert curator, Associate Professor at the University of Toronto);
  • Gisèle Dalbec-Szczesniak—ON (Kingston Symphony Orchestra concertmaster, Isabel Quartet member, Adjunct Lecturer in Violin and Viola at Queen’s University);
  • Eric Friesen—ON (music broadcaster, writer, and former interim Artistic Director of Honens International Piano Competition);
  • Gwen Hoebig—MB (Winnipeg Symphony Orchestra concertmaster, Hoebig/Moroz Trio member, former faculty member at the University of Manitoba, Visiting Artist at Mount Royal University);
  • Jeanne Lamon—ON (director and violin soloist, Music Director Emerita Tafelmusik, Adjunct Professor of Baroque Violin at the University of Toronto);
  • Evan Mitchell—ON (Music Director of the Kingston Symphony);
  • Barry Shiffman—ON & AB (Executive Director of the Banff International String Quartet Competition, co-founder of St. Lawrence Quartet, Associate Dean of the Glenn Gould School at the Royal Conservatory of Music);
  • Terence Tam—BC (Victoria Symphony Orchestra concertmaster, chamber musician, winner of the International Pierre Lantier Competition in Paris and the OSM Standard Life Competition); and
  • Andrew Wan—QU (OSM concertmaster, soloist, New Orford Quartet member, Assistant Professor at McGill University).
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